What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Was Tokyo just a settlement during the Heian Period?

Ranma

後輩
Joined
5 May 2003
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
I'm making a manga, and part of it takes place during the Heian Period, and the rest takes place during the present in Tokyo. I would like to know was Tokyo a settlement back then or were there even people living there at that time? I would appreciate it if someone responded. Domo arigatou.:)
 

Haivart

先輩
Joined
15 Dec 2002
Messages
473
Reaction score
5
According to pottery finds, there have been people living in the area since the Jomon period. The bay is good for fishing and the area around it is good for growing things, so I think it's safe to assume that there have always been settlements in the area. That's as much as I could find in a short time, but I'll do some more digging.
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
Tokyo was settled by Japanese much later than the Yamato plain around Nara. However, it is believed to have been the largest human settlement in Japan during the neolithic era, prior to the establishment of the Yamato government. As one of Japan's three largest alluvial plains, the Kanto area is ideal for wet rice culture and during the early Heian period as the population grew and demand for farmland increased, large numbers of Japanese migrated to the area where modern Tokyo is situated. These people were mostly independent from the central government and the rise of the warrior class, which caused the end of the Heian era had its roots in the independent manorial lords who settled in Eastern Japan.
 

Haivart

先輩
Joined
15 Dec 2002
Messages
473
Reaction score
5
Many thanks, Senseiman. I knew some would know more than I do, and have better resources. 🙂
 

Elizabeth

先輩
Joined
22 Apr 2003
Messages
9,525
Reaction score
131
That was very interesting, senseiman. The only literary account I'm aware of from travellers of the time is the quite impressionistic (but nicely detailed) and ungeographically sound Lady Sarashina's diary, As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, which describes a girl's journey from Kyoto to Tokyo around 1000 AD and her later wanderings around some of the central prefectures. If there are other first-hand sources from Tokyo or pilgrimages to temples and such in surrounding provinces I'd love to see them. 🙂
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
Cheers. Most of what I wrote above can be found in Vol. 1 of George Sansom's 'A history of Japan', which is quite an interesting read for someone interested in the social, political and culutural history of Japan.

Afraid I don't know of any other first hand literary accounts of Tokyo from the Heian era, though.
 

Elizabeth

先輩
Joined
22 Apr 2003
Messages
9,525
Reaction score
131
Originally posted by senseiman
Cheers. Most of what I wrote above can be found in Vol. 1 of George Sansom's 'A history of Japan', which is quite an interesting read for someone interested in the social, political and culutural history of Japan.
Thanks again. Will definately have to look into that one. His Short Cultural History is an absolute delight as well, particularly the emphasis on language, culture and the arts, the only real frustration being it only covers up to about the mid 18th Century. 🙂
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
Yes, the Short cultural history is also a great read. I like the 3 volume history better as it is much more comprehensive, including a lot more of the political history that the short cultural history leaves out. He also wrote it about 25 years later, after the war, which means he was writing to an audience whose views of Japan had been radically changed from what they were in 1930.

It sure is a shame he didn't carry on his histories past the end of the Edo era!
 
Top Bottom